Blogs don’t (always) threaten traditional media — they prop it up

I started the day with a post about the impact of DVRs on the viewership of commercials. A comment on that post alerted me that I could do a little hack on my DVRs remote control and skip through commericals rather than scan through them. Blogging has just changed the way I watch TV. Frankly, my blogging and TV watching are overlapping activities as most of my posts are written in the evening while I watch TV — or at least while the TV on in the same room. From my vantage point, it has become very obvious that blogging and other conversational media are changing the way many people interact with TV, but I’m not talking here about YouTube blowing up the medium, or “self-expression-video” tearing it down. I’m talking about ways blogs are reinforcing the most traditional of traditional media: network prime-time programming.

For three very different reasons, in the past 24 hours, I’ve run across three incredible blogs that are related to popular network TV programs. Two are among the most creative blogs I’ve run across — ever. The other contains one post made 24 hours ago that has attracted more comments than any blog posting I’ve ever seen or heard of.

Here they are:

1. Grey Matter, the weblog of writers of the show, Grey’s Anatomy.

A link from Nashville is Talking this evening led me to a post on the weblog, Grey Matter, that is maintained by writers of the ABC program Greys Anatomy. I recommend not clicking over to it as I thought it was going to crash my browser. However, it was merely grinding away loading what has to be the most massive blog post and comments I’ve ever encountered. How massive? At about 8:30 P.M., CST, approximately 20 hours after the original post, the page was the equivalent of an 807-page Word document containing 360,000 words in what I estimate to be about 2,919 comments.

While it didn’t even make it onto the front page of the Digg entertainment site, the Grey’s Anatomy writers’ blog post generated in comments what are about half the words in “War and Peace.” No telling how many words on blogs the episode generated.

2. The numb3rs blog, a weblog maintained by a Northeastern University math professor.

If you watch the CBS drama Numb3rs, you know that a math professor is the key to solving the crimes being investigated by the FBI agents in their hip LA office. This blog from a math professor at Northeastern University in Boston breaks down the math used in each episode. (How I found this blog: My wife and I watch Numb3rs via DVR and I’ve grown envious of Professor Epps collection of whiteboards — especially his glass one. I was looking for the brand of this board, but have decided it must be built by the show’s prop department. Didn’t find any blogs devoted to Numb3rs product placements, but math blogging is bigger than I suspected.)

3. “That’s What She Said,”, an employment and labor law blog devoted to analyzing the legal implications of Michael’s antics in each episode of the NBC comedy, “The Office.”

Via Stephen Baker, I learned about this amazing blog maintained by Julie Elgar, a labor and employment attorney at an Atlanta law firm. I can’t think of a better way for a lawyer to effectively “market” her services than this creatively fun, yet insightfully educational blog. Her day-job is providing managers with training on how to comply with various state and federal employment laws. She uses this experience on her blog to predict how much a judge would award an employee plaintiff who filed a lawsuit against Michael for his actions in each episode. The result is entertaining to show viewers — especially business owners who are looking for an employment and labor attorney. Side note: The blog is associated with a Nashville publishing company, M Lee Smith, and its HR newsletter called HR Hero.